Savannah Off The Beaten Path

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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Savannah

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    fort pulaski

    by doug48 Updated May 13, 2011

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    fort pulaski
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    fort pulaski is located on cockspur island at the mouth of the savannah river. it was named after the polish count, casimir pulaski who fought with general george washington during the revolutionary war. construction on fort pulaski began in 1833 and was finished in 1847. in 1860 the fort was taken over by the governor of georgia and was later turned over to the confederacy. in 1862 union general david hunter was ordered by general w.t. sherman to retake the fort. on april 10th 1862 fort pulaski fell to northern forces after a 30 hour seige. a very interesting place to visit in the savannah area. to get to fort pulaski take hwy 80 east about 10 miles from downtown savannah.

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    old fort jackson

    by doug48 Written May 12, 2011

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    old fort jackson

    old fort jackson was built in 1808 on the site of the revolutionary war era mud fort. old fort jackson was activated during the war of 1812. old fort jackson ia named after james jackson who was a colonel in the revolutionary war. during the civil war old fort jackson was the headquarters of the savannah river defenses for the confederacy. old fort jackson was turned over to the forces of union general william t. sherman in december 1865. old fort jackson is located about two miles east of downtown on east presidents street. the address is 1 fort jackson road. old for jackson is a national historic landmark. for more images of old fort jackson see my fort jackson travelogue.

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    wormsloe plantation

    by doug48 Updated May 12, 2011

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    plantation ruins

    wormsloe plantation was established by noble jones in 1733. jones arrived in savannah with general james oglethorpe and commanded a company of marine boatmen charged with georgia's coastal defense. jones also served as a constable, indian agent, surveyor, and a member of the royal council. as a surveyor jones laid out the town plans of new ebenezer and augusta georgia. today you can visit the ruins of noble jones brick and tabby house for a small fee. the ruins give you an excellent impression of what it was like to be a planter in colonial georgia. wormsloe plantation is located on the isle of hope southeast of downtown. the address is 7601 skidaway road. for more images of this historic site see my wormsloe travelogue.

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    Fort Pulaski

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Casements with Cannon
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    During the War of 1812, it became clear that the United States needed a defense system. On March 15, 1830, the United States government took 150 acres here in Chatham County GA for the construction of a new fort. Construction began in early 1829, initially overseen by an ailing Major Samuel Babcock of the Army Corps of Engineers. Babcock's failing health made it necessary for a new West Point graduate, Robert E. Lee, to oversee the construction of the main drainage ditch, an earthen embankment and dikes, and buildings.

    The fort had to sit on a firm foundation; a very difficult task in such a marshy environment. Workers drove the pilings on which the fort sits 70 feet into the soft mud of Cockspur Island. Brick arches were then built on top of these pilings to support the dirt, cannons, and platforms of the terreplein. Fort Pulaski was initially designed to be a two-story fort with three tiers of guns, but conditions made such a design impractical. Fort Pulaski was constructed as a masonry fortification with 5 walls, each of which was from 7 to ll feet thick and 32 feet high. It was built to include 67 arched casemates, used for housing soldiers and storing supplies, that supported a 30 foot wide terreplein on which the cannon platforms were placed.

    Because he was so familiar with the strengths of the fort, General Lee advised the young Confederate fort commander to pull his troups back from Tybee Island because he thought they would be safer inside the fort..

    But in April of 1862, Union troops on Tybee Island directed rifled cannon fire at the fort breaching the southeast angle and giving them immediate access to the gunpowder magazines. A cannon shot that landed there would blow up the fort and kill everyone in it, so the commander surrendered. The accuracy and range of the rifled cannon rendered brick fortifications obsolete. The damage from that cannon fire has been left visible.

    Individual Fees
    $3.00 - 7 Days for 17 years of age and older

    SCHOOL GROUPS and Golden Age Pass holders Free

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    Afternoon tea, southern style, at the Gryphon

    by jbel2879 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Gryphon Tea Room is right in the heart of downtown Savannah, on the edge of some cute square (I'm terrible with names). Regardless, it's on Bull Street. The visit is worth it for the decor alone. Fabulous tiffany lamps, brass and oak bar fixtures, a huge glass ceiling panels - it's absolutely gorgeous. They have a sizable collection of different teas, and will just brew you a pot or will do the whole enchilada of afternoon tea. It was too hot for coddled cream and such so I just got a pot and my friend got a cool drink.

    The tea was quite good and well brewed. The service was a little snippy. Just ignore them, it adds to the ambience.

    TIP: walk around the area taking in the townhouse architecture to build up your appetite for smoky seductive tea. Savannah is so cool.

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    Largest Globe Around

    by TexasDave Updated Feb 9, 2011

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    Just West of the intersection of Abercorn St. and DeRenne Ave. is this giant steel sphere. It was originally fabricated to be an emergency tank for natural gas in the 1950's. It was later painted to resemble a large globe (60 ft high)with a massive hurricane bearing down on Savannah. The present owner of the property, a mortgage company, has its name on it for advertisement.

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    fort mcallister state park

    by doug48 Written Jan 6, 2011

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    fort mcallister

    fort mcallister state park is located about 10 miles southwest of savannah near richmond hill georgia. fort mcallister was built by the confederacy in 1861 to protect savannah from union attack. fort mcallister is located on the great ogeechee river and was shelled numerious times by union gun boats. the fort was captured by the union on december 10 th 1864. the fall of fort mcallister led to general william t. sherman's occupation of savannah. fort mcallister has much to offer the tourist. at the state park is a civil war museum, hiking and nature trails, camping, and fishing. for those interested in nature and civil war history fort mcallister is worth a visit when in the savannah area. for images of the fort see my fort mcallister travelogue. fort mcallister state park is located at 3894 fort mcallister road near richmond hill. from I-95 take exit 90 then 10 miles east to the fort.

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    Sea Island is a Close by Luxury Resort

    by BruceDunning Written Dec 1, 2009

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    Former Brother in law home
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    This island has the Cloister which is steeped in history, as well as the island. Today. many luxury homes have been built along the beach and marsh sides for optimum views. There are many sporting activities on the island, but the most interesting is seeing the nice homes.

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    Hilton Head is Just up the Road

    by BruceDunning Written Dec 1, 2009

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    This island is a resort of about 6 major projects and a number of minor ones. Savannah and Hilton Head have always been interconnected in many ways, and they are only 50 miles apart. The island has many condos and homes of luxury style, and golf courses until you can swing your arm out of joint. The main attraction is Harbortown at the end of Sea Pines Plantation. It is a peaceful place that has codos surrounding the water harbor and a nice lighthouse tower.

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    Oatland Island Wildlife Center

    by melanief Written Jun 5, 2009

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    Wolf
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    The Oatland Island Wildlife Center is a fun place to spend the afternoon. There are many walking trails and you will see wildlife in its natural setting. You will also see rescued wildlife. To get there from the Islands Expressway/President Street just after the Whitemarsh Plaza. Follow the Islands Expressway/President Street for 1.3 miles and make a left into the wildlife center. It is a great place for kids and adults. It is easy to fit in the budget; it is only $5 for adults, $3 for kids, students, military or seniors. Children under 4 are free.

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  • Your tour guide tells some interesting facts.

    by PauleneStifle Updated May 23, 2007

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    You will see where Forest Gump sat on the park bench.
    Which home was build for twin sisters to help them find husbands.
    Where the drinkers at a bar were shanhaied underground from the bar
    to ships waiting in the port.

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    Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill

    by deecat Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    Entrance to Ft. McAllister State Park

    For Civil War buffs, one might want to visit another Fort (best-preserved earthwork fortification of the Confederacy) within a state park called Fort McAllister State Park.

    It extends over 1725 acres on the banks of the Ogeechee River. This fort was the location of the last line of resistance for the Confederacy against General Sherman's march on Savannah. (South of Richmond Hill on Highway 144).

    The fort withstood seven attacks by Union gunboats, and the port held. Then, Sherman's ground force stormed the fort and closed down trade through Savannah's port, a severe loss for the Confederacy. Why? Because now the Union had a route to ship supplies to it troops.

    The fort was restored by Henry Ford in the 1930s. This Fort is in Fort McAllister State Park, and you can follow the path around it to the entrance.

    While walking along this parapet, you see the river on one side and a huge cannon on the other. There are informative signs along the way that includes information about both the sea and the land battles. It also tells about life in the fort and about General Sherman.

    Deep within the mound are the baricks for the men stationed at the low-tech fort. Visitors may tour the mound and walk through. This is a very interesting place to visit. The Museum on site has artifacts from Confederate Gunboat, Nashville.

    If you wish, you may picnic on the high bluff above the River near the fort.

    Note: Just off Genesis Point lie the remains of the Nashville, a privateer sunk during a battle in 1863.

    Besides the fort and museum, there is a 3.1 mile trail through a typical low-land marsh. (Bring insect repellent!) There is a viewing tower that overlooks a small creek. There is also a nature trail in the campground and a fishing pier. In addition, there are 65 campsites with water and electricity.

    Location:
    Genesis Point, east of Richmond Hill

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    Once Called "Savannah Beach": Tybee Island

    by deecat Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    Tybee Lighthouse on Tybee Island, Georgia

    To reach Tybee Island from Savannah, take Bay Street to Hwy. 80 and continue for 18 miles through the marshlands of the lower Savannah River until the road dead-ends at Tybee's South Beach parking area.

    Tybee Island has been labeled as "a shabbily genteel seaside community blessed with two long, wide beaches...a central business district that exudes a tawdry Coney Island-esque charm" OR " Tybee exudes an old-fashioned, Coney-Island-type appeal, complete with a rickety-tik amusement park, putt-putt golf, corn dog stands, and clapboard cottages"...OR "a small resort and residential island."

    Regardless of how one views it, the island has a long sandy beach, activities that kids adore, a lighthouse to climb, and an old abandoned Army Outpost & Battery that serves as a museum now. Most of the activity centers on Butler Avenue where a pier juts out into the surf, and on the pier is a pavilion.

    Of all that the island offers, I liked the Tybee Lighthouse the best. It's located at the northern tip at 30 Meddin Drive, (912)786-5801.

    The second beach (which is popular with the locals) is along Pulaski & Taylor Streets. and it is dominated by the Lighthouse which is one of two operable lights on the Georgia coast. Tybee Lighthouse guides shipping through Tybee Roads at the approaches to the Savannah River. Built in the late 19th century, this lighthouse is about 150 feet tall, and there is a museum next door.

    You may climb it any day 10:00 am-6:00 pm during the summer. There are Candle Lantern Tours on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of June, July, and August for $1.00.

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    For Sheer Ambience, Visit Bonaventure Cemetery

    by deecat Updated Apr 17, 2007

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    Statue of Gracie Watson in Bonaventure Cemetery

    You'll recognize it the minute you walk on the property....made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil The book cover made this cemetery one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Savannah area.

    "Haunting" describes Bonaventure Cemetery...Hauntingly beautiful .. Victorian statuary mingled with overhanging branches of large trees draped in Spanish Moss.

    Danny Hansford (the character called "Billy Hanson" in the John Berendt book) is not actually buried in Bonaventure. He is buried in Forest Lawn, next to Bonaventure.[ VT tessh (Sam) says that these two cemeteries are separated by a road and an iron fence but that both cemeteries are owned by Bonaventure.]

    Bonaventure is not as old as Colonial Park Cemetery, but it certainly is larger & more attractive. It was founded on property that used to be a plantation. At one time, called Evergreen Cemetery, its name was switched to Bonaventure (the name means "good fortune" in French)about 1907.

    Sadly, the statue that graced the cover of the novel ("Bird Girl") was moved to Telfair Museum of Art because so many people came to Bonadventure simply to see & photograph it.

    Another reason that tourists go to Bonadventure is to see the tomb of Gracie Watson. Gracie was born in 1883 & died of pneumonia when she was six years old. Because she was an only child & absolutely adored by her father, he had the famous sculptor, John Walz, carve a likeness of Gracie from a photograph. He did a life-sized statue out of marble, & visitors are entranced by the beauty of the child & of the sculpture. Legend says that Gracie's ghost haunts many of Savannah's buildings; thus, people are curious about her.

    Sadly, this statue has taken abuse, so a tall iron fence was constructed around the statue. People still climb the fence to touch "Gracie"!

    There are so many gorgeous statues & plaques as well as inspiring epitaphs that it takes a good 3 hours or so to really appreciate this place.

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    The wathing Girl

    by GUYON Updated Aug 12, 2006

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    The Waving Girl
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    Florence Martus was living in the lighthouse on Elba Island which was at the Savannah Harbor entrance.

    During 44 years, she greeted the arriving boats and said hello to the ones which were living the harbor with a white handkerchief. By night, she was also here with a lantern. She did not miss any ship. When she had been interviewed, she said : "I was never too sick to get up when one was coming and I could always hear them coming."

    So she was known by all the sailors who called her the Waving Girl.

    She received letters from all the word but she never married.

    She died in 1943 and a ship received her name in her honor.

    The statue features her with her collie waving a ship. The monument is on East part of River Street.

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